s Essays Selected and Edited by J. H. Fowler, M.A. Assistant Master at Clifton College; Author of 'A Manual of Essay-Writing,' etc. (). Most of Joseph Addison’s essays are the social documents of the eighteenth century English life of middle-class people. He wrote elaborately on religion, politics, death, woman and . Joseph Addison’s three plays indicate important trends in eighteenth century British theater. ADDISON, JOSEPH ( – ), English poet, essayist, and critic. Addison helped to elevate the literary status of English prose while holding important political offices for the Whig party. He was born in at Milston, Wiltshire. Joseph Addison (1 May – 17 June ) was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine.
Europe, to Addison helped to elevate the literary status of English prose while holding important political offices for the Whig party. He was born in at Milston, Wiltshire.
Addison's study of classical poetry and his Latin poems at Queen's College, Oxford, won him a demy scholarship in the s to Magdalen College, where he took his M. His classical scholarly knowledge, especially on the Roman idea of citizenship, informs the moral beliefs in his writing. Addison's passionate interest in and deep knowledge of Roman poetry and history are evident in his early prose works evaluating the best Roman poets, his translations of such poets as Virgil and Ovid and , and his own highly praised imitations of Latin poets such as Horace.
He modeled his own prose style after the formal elegance and familiar diction of Latin poetry, which he praised. After writing a celebratory poem on John Dryden —"To Mr. Dryden"—he wrote an introductory essay on Virgil for Dryden's translation of the Georgics in Addison's own translations provided English readers with an accessible text through adding explanatory commentaries and replacing obscure allusions with familiar ones.
A partisan of Protestantism and the Whigs, Addison in his earliest poetry supported the Protestant succession of William of Orange and Mary. Addison toured several countries and studied French neoclassical literary theorists; his itinerary, particularly to places of classical literary interest, is recorded in Remarks upon Several Parts of Italy, published in Addison's eulogy on John Churchill, duke of Marlborough's victory over the French at Blenheim in his poem "The Campaign" in secured him a position as excise commissioner of appeals and brought him increasing popularity.
His involvement with the Kit-Kat Club, a political and literary society for Whig writers and politicians, renewed his friendship with Steele, and he contributed to Steele's play The Tender Husband Commissioned to write an English opera to counter the trend for Italian opera, he produced the unsuccessful Rosamond in Meanwhile, the status of his politically administrative appointments increased because of his anti-Jacobite pamphlets such as "The Present State of the War.
Assisting Steele in his editorship of the London Gazette in , Addison then wrote forty-nine issues of The Tatler, the successful periodical established by Steele, moving between England and Ireland in and His essays focus on the classics, character types, and natural religion and oscillate between a witty, humorous tone and a moral seriousness, making reference to classical antecedents.
His support of Whig policies continued with his writing five issues of the Whig Examiner during the elections of , and becoming member of Parliament for Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Addison's essays in The Spectator, which appeared six days a week from March to December , established his reputation for popularizing literary theory and new philosophies in a carefully poised, accessible, and sustained format. He wrote a series of essays on English tragedy, on the opera, on John Milton 's poem Paradise Lost , and on the imagination, all designed to enlighten and improve the common reader.
Addison later revived The Spectator briefly to support George I. In , his tragedy Cato ran for thirty nights at Drury Lane Theatre.
A story of the struggle of a Roman republican, the play's political overtones ensured its success. It was praised by Voltaire as the first English "rational tragedy" and translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and Latin.
Awaiting the accession of Prince George of Hanover, Addison was appointed secretary of the Regency in His most prestigious political appointment was secretary of state in His last play, the comedy The Drummer, in , was a failure. Along with his increasing ill health, Addison quarreled with former friends such as Alexander Pope , over a rival translation of the Iliad , and Richard Steele, over the restriction of hereditary peers in the peerage bill. Addison died, estranged from Steele, on 17 June Edited by William Alan Landes.
The Commerce of Everyday Life: Selections from "The Tatler" and "The Spectator.
Joseph Addison as an Essayist
Edited by James Lehemy. Edited by Donald F. Secondary Sources Bloom, Edward A. Joseph Addison and Richard Steele: New York , A useful survey of the history of criticism and influence of Addison and Steele on English prose writers. Examines the role of periodical publications like The Spectator, The Tatler, and others in constructing the domestic realm as an arena of masculine control.
The Life of Joseph Addison.
The only complete biography of Addison to date. Max Fincher Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Retrieved January 03, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.